It used to be groupies who got backstage. Now, in an era of family values, the hangers-on earn money letting kids hang on them. Yes, nannies are making the scene on this summer’s tours, but they’re not the kind Mary Poppins would sing along with.
At Lollapalooza, it’s one-name-only nanny Maurice who’s tending to Coco Gordon-Moore, 1, daughter of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. The ever-fractious Courtney Love tours with a governess in tow, too. She brought along Coco’s playmate, Frances Bean Cobain, 2. And two very important people on the on-again, off-again R.E.M. tour, which Sonic Youth opened, were the caretakers for guitarist Peter Buck’s year-old twins, Zoe and Zelda. ”There would always be a room where the kids could go,” says Maurice, ”and the nannies could exchange tips. It was totally Romper Room.”
As for career potential in rock-spawn child care, a former nanny of Frances Bean’s, Jackie Farry, hosted her own show on MTV, the short-lived Superock, which aired last spring. Maurice, however, disavows any coolness by association. ”It’s not a hip thing for me,” says the 26-year-old carpenter, who met Gordon and Moore while selling T-shirts on a Sonic Youth tour. ”I don’t think of it as ‘Hey, I take care of Coco,’ but a lot of people, they’re like, ‘Whoa, taking care of the golden child!”’ Still, Maurice does play a fictional Beatles manager in Yo La Tengo’s current video ”Tom Courtenay.” Doesn’t that make him hip? ”I haven’t even seen it,” he says.